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Emory Peak, Big Bend National Park

Categories: Mountains, Nature & Parks
Inspirock Rating:
4.8/5 based on 65+ reviews on the web
Emory Peak, located in Big Bend National Park, is the highest peak in the Chisos Mountains. and the highest in Brewster County. The peak is named for William H. Emory, the chief surveyor of the U.S. Boundary Survey team of 1852. From the Chisos Basin the peak appears to be a minor ridge, while the summit of Casa Grande, one mile closer, seems to be much taller. From the west, Emory Peak is clearly visible as a point slightly higher than most of the mountain range.The peak can be reached by a moderate hike on a well-marked path across steep rocky terrain with an elevation gain of approximately 2500ft. The Emory Peak Trail is about long. Once at the base there is a semi-technical rock scramble to navigate before reaching the summit. No gear is needed for this climb although hikers should take great care. High-desert flora and fauna including alligator juniper, pinyon pine, mule deer, sotol, and Texas madrone may be seen along the trail. There are signs warning of mountain lions and bears.
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  • This is an excellent hike to do if you are in the Chisos basin in Big Bend national park. Most people do day hikes to Emory peak. I have not gone to Emory peak since that part of the trail is less for...  read more »
  • This hike (adding in Pinnacles Trail) totaled approximately 11 miles from the parking lot of the Chisos Basin. The elevation gain was a gradual ascent with a few places that were steep. A LOT OF STEPS...  read more »
  • While staying in the amazing Chisos Mountains, I hiked the Emory Peak Trail. This hike is a must for those wanting an amazing peak view of the surrounding park. The final 1-mile spur of the trail star...  read more »
  • The best 360 panoramic views of the Chisos Mountains. We included Emory Peak in a South Rim day hike. We came up the Pinnacles Trail at approx 8am in Mid-July with no issues. It wasn't my first time taking this route to the Rim and it actually felt easier than previous excursions. This was, however, my 1st time up to Emory Peak. At the top of Pinnacles Trail we immediately switched over to the Emory Peak Trail and headed right up. Approx halfway up Emory, the July heat and increasing altitude made themselves known to me, and my pace dropped significantly. The final 1/4 of the trail was quite tiring, with the extremely loose stone trail joining my other tormentors - the heat & altitude. Upon reaching the base of the twin summits, we (my 72 y/o father) split up and climbed up to each of the peaks. I was wearing medium/light heavy duty hiking boots, which were a bit cumbersome for scrambling over the numerous boulders to the peak. We spent over 45 minutes at the top before continuing on our hike to the South Rim. The trip back down Emory Peak Trail was no easier than the trip up. The Emory Peak round trip is listed at 2 miles, but it felt a lot, lot longer than that! (to be fair, it's not like I'm getting any younger). It was a long, hot day on the trail to the South Rim and we didn't make it back to the Basin until approx 6:30pm. We were well prepared and equipped, however, if I had to do it all again, I'd probably reconsider Emory Peak's inclusion in a South Rim day hike in the middle of July. I felt the effects of Emory Peak Trail for the remainder of my day - I was definitely fatigued by the time I returned to the Basin. I wouldn't recommend attempting a Emory/South Rim day hike in July. The heat makes every additional mile seem much longer than it really is. That being said, doing Pinnacles up & down/Emory Peak is a very doable summer day hike that I wouldn't hesitate doing again, if given the opportunity. Some simple advice: Just make sure you're in shape, well equipped and carrying at least 3-4 gallons of water. A good hat, sun screen, sun glasses, and dry-wick clothing are essential. I love Big Bend.
  • Great sense of accomplishment by getting to the top. Tough climb, but the views are amazing.
  • 3rd tallest peak in Texas. watch out for the wildlife.
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